THE MOUNTAIN LAD LINE


In 1980 it was thought that the Mountain Lad stallion line, one of three major
Connemara stallion lines, was in grave danger. The situation was thought to be so dire
that some extraordinary measures to save the line were taken. In the US, May Medley
in Georgia started to breed her son of Mon Tully Man (Tully Lad X Tooreen Pet [by
Tooreen Laddie]), who she had been keeping with a gelding in her backyard for many
years. Montully Son, the stallion, is a great grandson of Mountain Lad through his
grandsire Tully Lad. May had been told by Caroline Nesbitt that he was the last of the
Mountain Lad line. Montully Son was out of a daughter of Marconi, Marconi’s Stormy
Rebel. May also bought a daughter of Jiminy Cricket, another son of Tully Lad, so she
could line breed from the Mountain Lad line. This pony, Aillte Mhuire, had had one
daughter by Custusha’s Cashel Rock, Courtney’s April Frolic, before coming to Georgia
where she produced many offspring. Courtney’s April Frolic is the dam of the winner of
the ACPS Clifden Trophy for the Purebred Connemara in the USEF Pony Hunter
divisions who receives the most points in USEF sponsored competition, Balmullo’s
Azalea who is shown as Ooh La La.

Aillte Muhire’s progeny by Montully Son were also highly successful. Tullymor’s April
Fool was a beautiful and productive mare whose son, Balmullo’s Beacon (Tullymor’s
April Fool X Aladdin), owned by Vanessa Morgan, was a successful eventer and prolific
sire for Foothill’s Farm in Tennessee. May also bred Montully Son to many other what
she called “old-fashioned” Connemaras, those that she could find with no Little Heaven
blood in their pedigree. This program was in many ways extraordinarily successful with
Tullymor ponies, including many stallions, now in every corner of the US, where they
successfully compete in driving, eventing and dressage.

While all this was happening in the US, in England, a special consortium was formed to
save the aged stallion Thunderbolt from the knackers. Thunderbolt was by Thunder,
another son of Tully Lad and out of Irene Grey, who was a granddaughter of the Irish
Draft, May Boy. This program has also produced ponies that are found far and wide. In
Europe Chiltern Thunderburst (Thunderbolt x Chiltern Cameo) and his son, Rory
Rasputin (Chiltern Thunderburst x Van de Aronbosch Donna) are very popular sires in
Denmark and The Netherlands, respectively. In England there is Spinway Comet
(Thunderbolt x Spinway Cailin) who is a many-times winner in hand. In the US, there is
a son and a grandson of Thunderbolt in California. The son, Lasrachai, is out of Lovely
Marcella (by Rebel Wind). The grandson is Sydserff Avalon (Cocum Camelot [by
Thunderbolt] X Ballydonagh Misterina [by Kirtling Brigadoon]). There is another
grandson in Indiana, Landsdown Willow’s Harbor Boy (*Chiltern Colm X Sillbridge
Miranda [by Thunderbolt]). *Callowfeenish Thunder, Sam Davis’ famous gelding, Tor,
was a Thunderbolt son imported to the US as a stallion and sired at least one pony in
Virginia, Aluinn Torrence, before being gelded.
                                                In 1983 in Ireland Tully Grey (Tully
                                                Lad X Cait Nu Dhuibhir) was bred to
                                                Abbeyleix Bluebird (Coosheen Finn
                                                X Blue Moon), starting a third major
                                                branch of the Mountain Lad line, the
                                                “Hazy” pony line, perhaps the most
                                                prolific of all the branches. The result
                                                of this cross, Dale Haze, has sons
                                                and grandsons throughout Europe
                                                and the US through the stallions
                                                Hazy Dawn, Moy Hazy Cove and
                                                later, Hazy Match. Fernville
                                                Matchmaker (Hazy Match X Ross
                                                Castle Moya [by Abbeyleix Owen])
was imported to the US two years ago and has gotten his first mare in foal.

Now the Mountain Lad genes are spread throughout the world and it is hard to find a
Connemara pedigree without Mountain Lad in it somewhere. The importation of
Frederiksminde Hazy Cavalier (Hazy Dawn X Frederiksminde Christina) to Australia
assures that the line will continue to increase! Sue Clark of the Glenormiston stud in
Australia says that Cavalier has filled out a lot since he arrived. Sue also said,
“Unfortunately his dam Frederiksminde Christina died recently at the age of 25 so he is
the last of this (Christina) line. His sire Hazy Dawn is also in his 20's but will hopefully
continue to breed for a few more years.

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